The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

"Death is a hard nut to crack." 

Magical thinking permeates it's wake. 
This is how it is for Grace whose mother died in a drowning accident. She makes bargains with the unknown in an attempt to stave off the reality of life after her death. She interprets the world around her as if her mother is still sending her messages. On top of this, Grace has to learn to live with her grandmother, a woman who brought her mother great sorrow by abandoning her before Grace was born.

Grief has the capacity to rob us of our sanity, to lead us into behaviours we learn to regret. 
This is how it was for Grace's grandmother, who shunned her daughter after the death of her husband. By the time she came to realize her mistake, it seemed it was too late to make amends. This time, she is determined build a better relationship with her granddaughter. 

If Grace can unravel the mystery that was her mother, there might just be hope for the two of them. This is complicated work. 

I love these beautifully developed quirky characters. I have a special place in my heart for Max, their 8 year old neighbour who yearns for an entombment party. 

Ultimately this book is about learning to love and trust. It's about family and friendship. It's about having courage to forge a new beginning out of the broken, leftover bits of the past. 

"I thought maybe heaven wasn't only in the great big sky with comfy furniture and fireplaces. I figured it lived in small places too, like a bowl of good soup or the folds of an origami crane."

Tracy Holczer has written a heartbreakingly beautiful book. I started it and couldn't put it down. I laughed and I cried. I'm thoroughly satisfied.   

I'm going to have to go and reread some Robert Frost now. 

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